Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 26th Oct 2007 05:34 UTC, submitted by WillM
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "Experts say that migrations from Unix to Linux have slowed down because all the low-hanging fruit has now been picked. Linux growth in the U.S. x86 server market has, over the past six quarters, started to falter and reverse its positive course relative to Windows Server and the market as a whole." More here.
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In Many Ways, I'm Not Surprised
by segedunum on Fri 26th Oct 2007 11:41 UTC
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Ignoring for the moment that this was produced by IDC (they generally use revenue as the indicator for market share which is ridiculous, since there is no way that 70% of all servers out there are Windows) I can believe this to be true to a certain extent.

As the great John H. Terpstra talked about in a presentation many years ago, the vast majority of these Linux companies (and certainly the number one and two) believe that they can live in their own little bubble of not competing with Windows and taking the 'low hanging fruit' of Unix migrations. They just seem to be terrified of trying to go against Windows Server, and believe that they can retreat into ever smaller niches. This is just silly, quite frankly.

Today, there is no server package that will compete with Windows Server, and Microsoft's server software, in terms what they do. This is extremely unfortunate, because companies like Red Hat and Novell have everything they need, and give themselves an advantage over the main thing holding Windows Server and software back - idiotic licensing. This is especially the case for small businesses, but in the absence of anything else they get roped into SBS.

While Microsoft is still trying to create a working, headless version of Windows with a half-decent shell, Linux systems already have that, and with a bit of work (DBUS interfaces to lots of software and Ruby scripting, for example) could be made even better. Linux also has what it needs to compete with Windows Server on the graphical administration tools front, but absolutely nothing has been done in the Linux world that is on a par with MMC - and MMC isn't fantastic in places. YaST is exceptionally poor given how long it has been around, and there's not much on many other distros that gets anywhere near. Red Hat's graphical tools are pretty woeful.

On the software applications front, Linux and the open source world has many groupware solutions around as well as stuff for instant messaging, we have a great web server, we have a great great open source database system in Postgres, LDAP and Red Hat Directory Server are around for universal authentication (but they're still nowhere near straightforward enough to set up), but there's no unified set of administration tools for this software and no unified authentication in many distros. The whole thing is disjointed enough that people just go to Windows Server, and then get roped into more through the requirements. The Linux world has a good lead in terms of virtualisation, but again, the tools are exceptionally poor. Red Hat and Novell simply cannot come out and produce stuff of the kind of quality that they are doing.

The open source world and Linux distro companies need to wake up and realise what they have, otherwise the future doesn't look all that great. Don't talk about the Linux desktop, because if Linux and open source software can't hold their own in the server world then there is no foundation.

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